The Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance (CSNR) produces this almanac to celebrate the history, achievements, and evolution of the reconnaissance discipline -- from individuals who forged its beginnings to those who further shaped the vision to meet the changing threats to national security during the past 50 years. This publication reveals the founding of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and its continued prosperity as a leading intelligence organization today. The CSNR believes you will find this almanac informative, engaging, and practical. We have identified important dates in the history of reconnaissance and, to provide context, other key events in national security, technology, and space exploration. Through this historical compilation, the CSNR seeks to offer you an opportunity to increase your understanding of national reconnaissance and to develop an appreciation for the contributions of the many engineers, scientists, and other risk-takers whose efforts and achievements paved the way for space-based reconnaissance systems. The CSNR undertakes projects such as this almanac as an enabler of NRO goals and objectives. We believe having an appreciation for our national reconnaissance heritage can inspire today's workforce to continue contributing innovations that fulfill the current mission of the NRO. The NRO will continue a 50-year tradition of innovation as it adjusts to the challenges of the 21st century. The almanac includes the following sections: The Concept and Origins of Reconnaissance, National Reconnaissance and Space Exploration Timeline, The NRO -- Its Early Years, Directors of National Reconnaissance, Key Events in the Exploration of Space and the Evolution of Space-Based Reconnaissance, Founders of National Reconnaissance, Pioneers of National Reconnaissance, and Table of Selected NRO Launches (this is a partial list of unclassified space launches from 1959 until 2009).